This past weekend my daughter came downstairs and announced she had some ”monies” and would like her piggy bank to put it in. Since we were the only ones home, and we didn’t give it to her, we had to ask where the coin came from. ”Mommy’s wallet”. We explained that we don’t go into people’s wallets, ever, and that if she needed or wanted something to ask for it.
She explained that she wanted some money to go to the store with me. I had already prepped her to get ready to go to the dollar store so I could buy some hair elastics for her (one of her Barbies acquired about 150 tiny elastics in her hair which, for the sake of my sanity, I couldn’t be bothered to remove). Once we made sure she understood to not take money from anyone, ever again (even if it was only $2.00) my husband then gave her $2.00 to do what she wanted with.
Later that day, after carrying the coin around all morning, mulling over what to do with it, her grandparents came over. She was excited to be able to show her coin off. Discussing what she should do with it, Nanny added to the pot giving her another dollar. Now she had $3.00 and felt filthy rich, I’m sure. She couldn’t wait to get to the dollar store now.
We picked up the hair elastics then she immediately wanted to go look at toys. No surprise. We walked up and down the small, but crowded, aisle at least six times contemplating everything. She explained she wouldn’t buy a new sparkly tiara because she already had one, she didn’t need stickers because she had a lot left in her art box, every toy she picked up, she almost immediately put back down when looking at the two coins in her hand. Normally, had I given her free rein in the store, I’m sure she would have attempted to ask me to buy almost all of them but suddenly, knowing she could probably only buy 1-2 things with her $3.00, she really had to think.
She eventually settled on a book. A book about princesses for $1.00. She also asked permission to buy a small chocolate egg for $0.50. She started with $3.00 and spent a total of $1.72. When we got home she asked her piggy bank. She deposited her change and asked when we were going to the bank (I attempted to explain the process to taking her money to the bank so she could deposit it when her piggy bank got full, a mission she’s well over half way to completing).
It was an interesting experience for me. I really didn’t know if she would ”get it”, the concept of money, but she seemed to understand it, and more importantly, the value of it, a lot more than I ever would have expected, at not even four years of age. One of the things she asked about was a $3.00 item. I told her she didn’t quite have enough money (when accounting for taxes) and instead of asking me for the $0.45 she put it down and began asking about other things she could afford. When I though she wasn’t going to settle on anything I suggested she could save it all and she seemed fine with that, until she spotted a pink princess book (which we read about 10 times yesterday alone) and chocolates by the cash.
Teaching our daughter about good financial habits is one of my main parenting goals. I really believe it is a massive life skill that can literally be life changing.
How do you teach your kids about money?